In the last decade, several infrastructure projects have been initiated in Bangladesh. Considering the size, budget, and economic impact, many of these projects have been termed mega-projects. The government has also identified a few of them as fast-track projects. Among these, the Padma Multipurpose Bridge, Bangladesh’s first metro rail project MRT Line-6, and the Karnafuli Tunnel, the first and longest underwater road tunnel in South Asia, are expected to be completed by the end of this year. In addition, to strengthen the country’s economy, the government has started giving importance to new projects and ongoing projects. Today’s video will tell you about seven such ongoing mega projects.
1. Padma Bridge Rail Link
The Padma Multipurpose Bridge is one of the first of the eight fast-track projects of the Government of Bangladesh. The two-story bridge will be completed by June 2022 and will be accessible for traffic to the mass. In addition to roadways, the bridge will have telephone, internet, gas lines, in addition to rail connections. Since there was no rail network in the southern part of the country, Bangladesh Railway had to set up an entirely new railway network, and this project is called Padma Bridge Rail Link Project. According to the project’s website, a further 172 km railway line will be constructed from Kamalapur in Dhaka to Gandaria and Keraniganj across the Padma Bridge to Jessore. In addition to the construction of 66 major bridges for this new railway, 244 small and medium bridges, culverts, underpasses will also be constructed. In addition, including six-station platforms, an approach road, and an administrative station, 14 newer stations will also be built under this project. The current budget of this mega project is BDT 39,247 crore. The project is being implemented in the G2G model with China, where China Railway Group Limited (CREC) is working on constructing the project. In addition, through the China Exim Bank, the Chinese government is funding 85 percent of the Padma Bridge rail link project, and the Bangladesh government is financing the remaining 15 percent. Although the Faridpur section of the project, which started in January 2016, is scheduled to be inaugurated by 2020, the entire project will take time to complete by 2024.
- Total length: 169 km
- Construction start: July 2018
- Cost: Tk 39,246 crore
- End Date: 2024 estimated
2. Rooppur Nuclear Power Plant
With the highest budget allocation, Rooppur Nuclear Power Plant is the largest megaproject in Bangladesh. Upon completing this project, Bangladesh will also join the elite group of 33 nuclear power generating countries globally. The Bangladesh Atomic Energy Commission under the Ministry of Science and Technology is implementing the project with technical help from the State Nuclear Energy Corporation of the Russian Federation, Rosatom. The initiative to build a nuclear power plant in Bangladesh was taken in 1961. For this purpose, about 260 acres of land was acquired for the project area and 32 acres for the residential area at Rooppur in the Pabna district. However, the project never saw the light. Work on the project resumed in 2009, and in 2011 a cooperation agreement was signed with the Russian Federation on constructing a two-unit nuclear power plant. In 2015, Bangladesh and Russia signed a deal to build two units of 1200 MW each. Although the first unit is expected to be completed in 2024 and the second in 2025, the first unit could be completed by 2023. Russia is financing 80 percent of the project worth BDT 1.13 lakh crore, and the remaining BDT 22,052 crore is funded by the Bangladesh government.
- Start- November 2017 Rooppur 1
- Open Date: Rooppur 1- 2024. Rooppur 2- 2025
- Cost- 1,13,000 Crore BDT
- Capacity – 2400 MW
3. Dhaka Elevated Expressway
To reduce traffic congestion in Dhaka, the Bangladesh government has already built several flyovers and is working on constructing Metro rail. Another project to alleviate traffic congestion in Dhaka is the Dhaka Elevated Expressway, a 19.63-kilometer four-lane expressway from Kutubkhali on the Dhaka-Chittagong Highway to Kawla in the Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport area of Dhaka. Starting from the airport via Kuril, Banani, Mohakhali, Tejgaon, Magbazar, Kamalapur and Sayedabad to Kutubkhali and join the Dhaka-Chittagong Highway. The 20 km long elevated expressway will have 31 ramps for getting up and down, with a total length of 27 km. The Bangladesh Bridge Authority under the Ministry of Roads and Transport is liable for the project. The total construction cost of this elevated expressway under the P.P.P project has been estimated at BDT 8,940 crore. The Government of Bangladesh will invest BDT 2413 crore, and the rest is coming from the manufacturer. Authorities are hopeful that the project, which started in 2020, will be completed by 2023. The project’s participants anticipate opening Dhaka’s Shahjalal International Airport section to Tejgaon railgate by December 2022.
- Start- January 1, 2020
- End date- June 2023
- Cost: 8,940 Crore
- Length- 19.73 km
4. Chittagong Cox’s Bazar Rail Link
The Chittagong-Cox’s Bazar Rail Link is one of Bangladesh’s ongoing fast-track projects. In addition to being connected by road and air, the project will also provide rail connectivity to this tourist city. As a result, it will increase the scope of Cox’s Bazar tourism as well as trade and communication. The 126 km single line dual gauge track project will start from Dohazari in Chittagong, pass through Chandnaish, Satkania, and Lohagarh Upazilas, Chakaria in Cox’s Bazar, Ramu, Cox’s Bazar Sadar, and Gundun Upazila in Bandarban district via Ukhia Upazila. Work on the 100 km railway track in the project’s first phase is in full swing, and more than 50 percent of the work has been completed so far. Although this section was supposed to be completed by December 2022, due to delays for the Corona epidemic and other associated project works, the new target for completion is 2024. The project worth more than BDT 18,034 crore is being funded by the Asian Development Bank and the Government of Bangladesh.
5. Matarbari Coal Power Plant
One of the ten mega projects in Bangladesh is the Matarbari Ultra Super Critical Coal-Fired Power Project in Maheshkhali Upazila of Chittagong, mainly known as Matarbari Thermal Power Plant. The combined generation capacity of the two units of 600 MW will be 1200 MW, which will meet the power demand of Chittagong and Cox’s Bazar region. This power plant will play an essential role in meeting the demand of Economic Zones and E.P.Z.s of the Government of Bangladesh in Chittagong and Cox’s Bazar areas. Coal Power Generation Company Bangladesh Limited (CPGCBL) is executing a project worth BDT 51,855 crore. Japan International Co-operation Agency or JICA is investing around BDT 43,921 crore in financing the project, and the rest of the project will be funded by the government. After construction starts in 2020, the project is hoped to be complete and produce the first unit in January 2024. Production of the second unit is expected to begin in July 2024.
6. Matarbari Deep Sea Port
One of the ongoing mega projects in Bangladesh is Matarbari Deep Sea Port or Matarbari Deep Seaport. Initially, construction work was started at Matarbari Power Station to import coal, but now work is being done for the commercial ports. The 18-meter-deep port under construction at Matarbari in Maheshkhali Upazila of Chittagong will play an essential role in reducing the cost of importing and exporting goods. The first phase of the Matarbarit deep seaport project in Maheshkhali, which is under construction at the expense of about Tk 18,000 crore, started in 2020. Where JICA is investing BDT 12,899.76 crore Besides, BDT 2,213.25 crore will be provided by the port authorities, and BDT 2,671.15 crore will be provided from the funds of the Government of Bangladesh. Although the project’s construction is expected to be completed by December 2026, the Chittagong Port Authority has set a target of completing this deep-sea port by 2025.
- Construction start: November 2020
- Cost: 17,775 crore
- Container Capacity: 2.8 Million TEUs
- Start date: 2020
- End date: 2026 (Estimated)
7. Dhaka Airport Third Terminal
A 3rd terminal is currently under construction at Shahjalal International Airport in Dhaka. The terminal, which has a capacity of 37 aircraft, is being constructed at the cost of BDT 21,398 crore. In addition, a 230,000-square-meter building is being built at the terminal, which will carry a total of 12 million passengers. In addition, the metro rail will also be connected to the terminal with a separate station. This will enable passengers arriving in to reach their destination directly via Metrorail without leaving the airport. Currently, the project is being jointly implemented by Japanese manufacturer Shimiju and Korean company Samsung, with JICA investing BDT 16,141 crore. Besides, the remaining BDT 5,258 crore is financed from Bangladesh government funds. Authorities plan to open the terminal to the public in 2023.